The British Isles have a relatively diverse bird fauna, with some populations, particularly, of coastal and seabirds being internationally significant. Several hundred different species have been recorded (596 in total on the British list)(Ibis (2012), Pages 154, 212–215).
British birds are protected in a number of ways: some important breeding or wintering areas for birds are designated as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under the Habitats Regulations. Development proposals within, or near to SPA, will usually be required to consider impacts on birds, including disturbance and noise. Particular consideration of birds and SPA’s is required for wind farm developments. Certain birds are listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and are fully protected. Schedule 1 species more ‘commonly’ encountered during development include: Tyto alba barn owl in green field sites, Alcedo atthis kingfisher near water and Falco peregrinus peregrine falcon, which can often be encountered in urban areas where tall buildings provide suitable replacements for the cliffs they use naturally.
All British birds are protected from disturbance, killing or injury while nesting under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Nesting birds are protected at any time, although they are more likely to nest between March and August.
Richard Graves Associates can arrange survey and advice on birds potentially affected by development and also provides the following services:
- Nesting bird assessment
- Supervision during clearance and development
- Tyto alba Barn owl survey
- Mitigation and advice
- Branta canadensis Canada goose management and control
Breeding bird surveys should be conducted between March and August, wintering birds survey between November and February.